In this fascinating stone age story based on archeological facts, a blue-eyed hunter-gatherer girl, Oane, uses her skill of crafting poisons to survive after being captured by a hostile tribe.
Migrating from the Black Sea area, Oane’s peaceful tribe is attacked by the Bollebarg tribe and their brutal leader, Viggo. The men are all killed and Oane is enslaved along with the other women and children. Her new life is difficult, and she dreams of escaping to a fertile land rumored to lie just across the North Sea.
Viggo hears about a poison her tribe used on their hunting arrows, and orders Oane to make the poison for him. Using the poison, the Bollebarg then attack other migrants and take more captives, including a young hunter named Nicu. Over time, Oane and Nicu grow close.
Meanwhile, Viggo plans to attack yet another tribe, but this time, there are dissenters among the Bollebarg who conspire to overthrow his reign of terror. Will Oane dare to defy the ruthless Viggo and help them? If they lose, it will mean certain death for all, and an end to her and Nicu’s dream of escape.
“The Final Days of Doggerland” by Mike Meier is the story of a young hunter-gatherer girl skilled in potions who is taken captive and dreams of escaping with a fellow captive. Usually we would interview the author to find out more about the story, but this time we let the story’s narrators speak for themselves.
Welcome, Tänka and Sinne. Can you please tell us a little more about the events, and what was going on in your minds as all of this unfolded?
Oh, certainly! Every human and every animal must have a purpose in life. We made it our mission to protect the people here by keeping watch over the surrounding forest. With our acute sense of hearing and discerning eyes, we never missed anything. No matter how distant the storm or how quiet the whisper, we noticed.
It was in the exercise of our duties that one day we noticed a slight derangement in the distance: other birds were disturbed, shrieking and flapping as they flew up in the air. Danger…? We wasted no time scouting in that direction. As we neared, we quickly spotted the source: a group of run-down-looking humans who must have traveled from far away.
But this was not the first time you saw humans coming from elsewhere, right?
Humans are wanderers, so we did see people besides our own from time to time. Usually, it didn’t end well for them once they arrived in our forest. Not because some evil spell took hold, but because dangerous animals prowled this forest. So did other people. Perhaps they were the greatest danger of all.
Can you tell us a little more about the main characters, Oane and Viggo?
So one of those travelers was Oane, who had blue eyes and long dark hair. She drifted left and right, touching and plucking the plants she passed along the way. She would become the focus of our attention when our Master captured her.
We were devoted to our Master, Viggo, the Chief of the Bollebarg tribe. He had been good to us ever since he took us from our parents’ nest. He built us a perch beneath the roof of his Great Hut, where we could roost at night or whenever we felt like it. And through him, we found a purpose—with our surveillance, we served not just Viggo but also the entire tribe. As reward for our labor, he fed us nuts and sometimes roast meat, our favorite. We couldn’t simply fly away and leave all that behind.
So you are the narrators, but did you also take an active role?
Well, it did so happen that we carried a warning to Oane which may have changed the course of the events.
We don’t wish to reveal how the encounter between Oane and Viggo ends, but it lead our departure from the Bollebarg tribe. We didn’t begrudge it as we understood the reasons why. The treats, especially the roast meat, were delectable, but we always knew deep down in our hearts that they couldn’t last a lifetime. After all, they were treats from humans . . . and we were beasts of the forest.
Is there something in particular that bothered you about the events?
Ahem, yes. There was one matter that left a bad taste in our beaks: we thought our purpose was to keep watch over the Bollebarg camp. While we faithfully exercised that duty, the humans never listened to us, no matter how hard we tried. All our watching, all our messages, had been lost and ignored by the very people we’d been trying to protect.
Is there something in particular that you learned from the events? And how did that affect your plans for the future?
We’d learned for sure that humans and beasts can never really live as one. Because of what Oane did, we had to return to our lives as beasts of the forest. Maybe we could find our parents, or find mates and rear young, living our days in harmony with those who surrounded us. Surely we’d find another purpose for our continued existence.
A brief video of Mike Meier reading a few lines and performing one of the “stone age” songs he wrote for the story:
Mike Meier grew up in a blue-collar housing project in Germany. His grandfather was a 1930s traveling magician and fortune-teller known as Wladi-Kami. On his own since his teens, Mike has lived in several different countries, including Argentina and Japan, and has worked jobs such as washing dishes, repairing bicycles, and painting homes. When he is not writing books or award-winning screenplays, you’ll find him playing Latin and Flamenco guitar somewhere…or playing in a rock band. He holds a Master’s Degree in political science, as well as a Juris Doctor and Master of Laws.
You can find Mike in these places:
I want to thank Mike for taking time out of his busy schedule to share this amazing story with us. I can’t wait to read it!
All images are created by Mike Meier and are used with kind permission